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Fuzhou Airlines takes on 737

Since the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) suspended the Boeing 737 MAX in March 2019 in the wake of a second deadly incident involving the model, Fuzhou Airlines has become the third carrier in China to use it.

On February 15, 2023, the company, which is a division of Hainan Airlines, flew flights FU6581 and FU6582 using a Boeing 737 MAX with the registration number B-207C.

The aircraft flew a roundtrip between Fuzhou Changle International Airport (FOC) and Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport, and both flights, according to the airline’s website, arrived at their destinations on schedule (CGO).

The 737 MAX operated by Fuzhou Airlines was spotted doing flight tests around FOC throughout January and February 2023. As such an itinerary cannot be booked through the airline’s website, it is presumed that the flight from FOC to Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport (XMN) on February 14, 2023, was for another flight test.

Flightradar24.com data indicates that the airline’s other 737 MAX, designated B-207M, has not yet been utilized in 2023.

On February 1, 2023, Hainan Airlines started operating the type. Only two of the 12 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft it owns—B-1388 and B-207H—were operational in 2023. Following the type’s grounding in the nation in March 2019, China Southern Airlines became the first airline based in China to operate the 737 MAX.

Flight CZ3960 from Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN) to Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport was operated by the airline on January 13, 2023, using the most recent model of Boeing’s best-selling single-aisle jets (CGO). A B-20C7 flight between San Antonio Lackland Air Force Base (SKF) and Moses Lake Grant County International Airport (MWH)

on January 11, 2023, was one of the 43 aircraft of the kind that the airline has. Seven of these aircraft have been flying in China. According to information from planespotters.net, the aircraft has been in storage at SKF since June 2019.

The B-1385-registered 737 MAX of China Eastern Airlines has also been seen circling the Kunming Changshui International Airport (KMG). On February 15, 2023, the plane flew for three hours and forty-three minutes before landing at the same airfield.

After the type’s second fatal disaster, involving an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX, in March 2019, China was among the last nations to lift the ban. A Lion Air MAX-8 crashed into the Java Sea in Indonesia in October of last year. 346 persons were killed in the two accidents.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the United States was the first to give the type permission to resume flying for commercial purposes, allowing airlines to use their 737 MAX aircraft starting in November 2020.

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